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TV Vertical Banding (Causes And Fixes)

As a frustrated TV owner, I found myself researching vertical banding on my TV screen. After hours of research, I learned about the causes, pros and cons, and various possible fixes. I’m here to share my experience and what I’ve learned to help other TV owners who may be dealing with the same issue. In this post, I’ll discuss the causes and potential fixes of TV vertical banding.

Vertical banding on a TV is frequently caused by outdated software, broken timing control units or cables, and problems with the circuitry in the unit. You can fix banding issues by downloading updates, reseating cables, or replacing broken components within the set.

Testing For Vertical Banding On Your TV

Occasionally termed as the jail bar effect or dirty screen effect, banding presents noticeable blocky areas of difference on a TV. With most lifelike images, differences in color and lighting are gradual, but subtle variations become obvious and distracting with banding.

You can run a color picture test on your TV, if it isn’t very old, to try and determine the cause and extent of your banding problem. The picture test is often a self-diagnostic tool for a TV to resolve issues with the display. You can find the picture test for your TV in the Settings, Support, Device Care, or Troubleshooting options. 

When attempting to fix a problem with the display on a TV, one of the first things you should do is to change the channel in order to verify that the problem is not related to the quality of the broadcast. It is also worth noting the differences between the images being broadcast on different channels to see if the errors arise from certain conditions while being absent from images with other characteristics.

Common Causes Of Vertical Banding

Vertical banding issues on a TV can suggest a problem with the hardware or the unit’s software. If your TV’s software is outdated, issues can arise that decrease the picture quality and cause distortions like vertical banding. You can troubleshoot software issues with little outside assistance, as they generally only require fiddling with some TV feature configurations.

Some newly acquired devices, notably OLED TVs, may initially have vertical banding. The display often clears up with time, which is a temporary inconvenience. If the image distortion is too high, there may be technical errors within the TV, so you might need to replace it.

Many people leave a TV on and switch to one channel for lengthy periods. Leaving the TV on over too long a period with little or no change on the screen may cause vertical banding on the screen, similar to burn-in. This is particularly the case for OLED TVs, even if the issue typically resolves itself before long.

If you have an LCD TV, its timing control board might be damaged so that it can no longer convert video signals to data that your TV can interpret. Broken internal circuit boards may cause communication malfunctions within the unit, leading to distortions in the image. Vertical banding might signify that there is internal damage to the TV.

Cracks and scratches on the screen’s surface may cause display issues such as banding or dead pixels, or the TV’s power supply may have failed. Insufficient power may lead to an incomplete or faulty image display. If sections of the lighting panel in the TV do not receive adequate levels of power, the lighting might be dimmer in some spots and create artificial gradient streaks.

Poorly connected or broken cables may cause bad signal transfer and cause distortions in the image and present as banding on the screen. There could also be issues with the devices connected to the TV, and their technical issues may actualize as visible symptoms on the TV.

How To Fix Vertical Banding On A TV

You can potentially solve the issue quickly by powering down your TV, unplugging all the cables, and waiting for a handful of minutes before restarting the unit. Similar to when you restart a computer, reinitializing your TV serves to refresh the system and may resolve issues by re-engaging all the components.

Updating your TV’s software is also potentially a solution to display issues. If your TV has frequent networking issues, try connecting to another wireless connection or use an ethernet cable if you have access to a physical modem or router.

Configuring your TV’s settings may resolve some issues with vertical banding. Changing the input source of your screen may suggest a problem with a source device or the cables that connect them to the TV. You can try using different wires, if you have any available, to get around faulty connections.

Unplugging and reattaching all the external cables of your display can ensure that proper signal transfer is taking place. If numerous devices are connected to the TV, one or some may have incompatibility issues or faulty functionality, and disconnecting errant devices may solve the problem.

You can test the power supply of your TV to see if it is the cause of banding by turning it off for around half an hour and then switching it back on. If the banding disappears, you may have a problem with your TV’s power supply and need to replace it. If the banding persists, you should also check the power socket where the TV is plugged in to see if the plug in the wall isn’t faulty.

It might be possible to do some internal screen panel repairs if you are handy, but getting a professional’s help would be better if you want to do any significant work on the hardware. Even amateurs can tap on the back of the TV case, which may resolve some minor cable connection issues, but more likely will do little but hint at a broken timing control board as a potential banding cause.

When all your efforts thus far have failed, you should consider doing a factory reset as a last-resort solution. A combination of settings you have stipulated in your configuration options may be incompatible and lead to failures in properly launching the processes within the TV’s computer.

You might have no option but to replace the entire unit if nothing resolves the issue.

Conclusion

Your TV might show some vertical banding if there is a technical issue with the hardware or the unit’s software. It would be wise to perform a banding color test before you conclude that the TV has a problem and potentially help determine a cause for the issue. Some TV models, notably OLED TVs, will temporarily have banding when bought, but this should clear up before long.

Most frequently, the issue can be quickly resolved by reseating your devices and cables, updating drivers, or replacing broken components. It is, however, possible that you cannot replace the broken parts, and the entire TV will need to be replaced.

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